Experts say Cicada Killers aren't nearly as intimidating as they may seem

They look mean, they sound mean, they even have an alarming name, but experts say Cicada Killers aren't as aggressive as they might seem. 

The massive wasp-like insects are commonly seen buzzing around rural areas during the summer months, causing one man to describe them "like a wasp on steroids." 

The females look the most daunting with large wings and a thick black body. They're busy this time of year hunting cicadas used to nourish their offspring. 

John Cambridge from the Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion explained that the female will stun a cicada with its large stinger and drag the bug underground. 


"The paralyzed cicada will be sitting next to the egg she lays, that wasp will hatch out and the grub will munch on the cicada," Cambridge explained. 

For some New Jersey residents, the intimidating bag equipped with a serious stinger, has been a common yard partner this summer. 

"I've seen them four, five times in the past two weeks all over the place," Vincent Amico said. "They're gigantic, they're scary."

Ken Anson, a New Jersey golf course superintendent, said they're pollinators and good for the ecosystem. 

"The females don’t sting they actually avoid people males almost never deploy their stinger and they do no landscape damage no permanent damage to anything ever," Anson said. 

Take it from the experts: Save your stomping for the Spotted Lanternflies and let the Cicada Killers fly freely.